Friday, September 30, 2011

Pint-sized hero saves the day

Billie An Zhang is living proof that you're never too young to save the day.

The seven-year-old Kohia Terrace School pupil helped St John Ambulance officers treat a woman who collapsed outside her classroom by acting as a translator.

Her teacher Gaylene Hewlett saw the woman collapse on to a handrail outside her classroom and immediately called an ambulance.

The victim was distressed and could only speak Cantonese but through Billie's calm and collected translating was able to get across that she felt like she was carrying a heavy weight on her chest.

''Billie was certainly a shining star when we needed her," Hewlett said.

''If she hadn't been there, it could have been a very different story."

Billie not only translated between the woman, Hewlett and the ambulance staff, she also helped reassure the injured woman when she became anxious about going to the hospital.

''The lady who fell ill subsequently spent eight days in hospital and had heart surgery,'' Hewlett said.

''Which reiterates the important part Billie played.''

Billie received a special certificate at a school assembly from St John in recognition of her help and bravery in assisting ambulance officers with the incident earlier this month.

St John staff told her they'd happily have her on staff.

Training delivery manager Carole Mudford said Billie's efforts were ''wonderful''.

''We would love to get the message out to the public about how they can help in an emergency even if they are only seven,'' Mudford said.

Getting a certificate in front of the whole school was ''pretty cool'', Billie said, but she's not sure saving lives is the job for her.

Billie is a high achiever and is fluent in both English and her native Cantonese.

She still attends Cantonese lessons after school to make sure she stays connected with her culture.

- Central Leader

Last updated 15:21 30/09/2011

Billie An Zhang Gaylene Hewlett
PINT-SIZED HERO: St John awarded Billie An Zhang, pictured with her teacher Gaylene Hewlett, a special certificate after she helped translate for ambulance staff.

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